The Zoo CREW
Our Zoo Crew Volunteers are an important part of the Jackson Zoo. The Zoo Crew creates quality experiences for guests and support programs that promote the Jackson Zoo’s mission. We have opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
Qualities we look for in our Zoo Crew:
If you are between 13-17 years old, please see our Zoo Teen Page.
Looking for a Jackson State University student volunteer position or service learning hours?
READY to Start?
- Fill out the Zoo Crew Application below. You will receive an email response from the Education Department with details about training.
- Attend the Zoo Crew training dates. February 6th and 20th 10am-1pm
- Start volunteering!
Please note: The Jackson Zoo has two Zoo Crew “cohorts”a year: January (Spring) and July (Summer). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Spring cohort’s mandatory training dates will be February 6 & 20, from 10am-1pm. Summer cohort Informational Sessions July 9th at 1pm and July 19th @5:30pm, in the Community Center at the Jackson Zoo. Summer cohort training dates will be August 13 & 20, from 1-4pm.
The Zoo also takes extra “Event volunteers” for our largest volunteer needs events: Zoo Day, Ice Cream Safari, and Boo at the Zoo. If you are interested in helping out for one time events, please email Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her to add you to our Event Volunteer Email List and you will receive emails about our event needs. Updates can also be found on our Volunteer Facebook page.
Need More Info?
What Roles are Available?
The Jackson Zoo is an education-focused institution with most of our volunteers concentrating on guest experiences. Very few of our volunteer positions work directly with animals.
Positions listed on the open positions page are immediately available upon acceptance into the program. Additional positions become available with the accrual of 36 hours of volunteer service. Accrued hours however do not guarantee acceptance into any position. Advanced volunteer positions, such as Animal Care Assistants are demanding and highly competitive and require an internal application process.
If you have a passion for sharing a specific skill (e.g. marketing, fundraising, plumbing, electrical, etc.) please submit an application and contact us directly detailing your interest.
What Happens Next?
- After you have read through the open positions to determine what interests you most, submit an application. If you would like more information before applying, please attend one of our informational sessions.
- After you have submitted an application, a member of Education Department will contact you regarding the training sessions.
- At the first training session, you will complete a criminal history background check and submit your volunteer membership fee. Active volunteers make a yearly monetary contribution to the program in the form of an annual membership fee ($30 for the first year and $15 for each subsequent year).
- Attend training sessions where you will learn about the zoo, receive training on our customer service, safety, and general policies, and position specific training.
- Complete your training sessions and pass associated knowledge assessment test. Receive your volunteer t-shirt and official welcome to the Jackson Zoo Volunteers!
The Jackson Zoo welcomes corporate, agency, school, and organized community volunteer groups to help fulfill the zoo’s project needs. Volunteer groups are typically scheduled for projects/shifts of four hours or less. Most zoo projects can accommodate a group size of 10-35 individuals.
Organizations can choose to volunteer for on-going or one-time projects, events, and activities. The tasks for each project and event vary greatly, but each one offers your group the opportunity to have fun and provide a valuable service to the Zoo.
Types of Group Volunteer Projects:
- Outdoor Projects – Raking leaves, moving substrate (soil, sand, rocks, gravel), planting shrubs, flowers, etc. Each project will vary depending on the needs of the zoo and the interest of the group.
- Indoor Projects – Preparing materials for programs, sorting items for special events, stuffing membership, or event bags, etc. The exact project will vary due to the time of year and needs of the zoo.
- Special Events – Helping with zoo with event setup, greeting guests, manning craft and activity tables, providing event support, cleanup, etc. Major zoo events include Zoo Day, Wild About Learning, Dream Night, Party for the Planet, Ice Cream Safari, Last Splash, and Boo at the Zoo
While we do try to accommodate all projects, availability is based on the needs of the Zoo. There will be no contact with any animals. This form must be submitted at least one month prior to the proposed start of the project.
The Jackson Zoo is committed to helping our community become stewards of the environment. One of the ways we do this is through Eagle Scout Service Projects. Service Projects can be in a variety of fields including, but not limited to:
- Wildlife conservation
- Visitors experience
- Educational programming
Interested in doing your Eagle Scout Service Project at the Zoo?Project Request Form
While we do try to accommodate all projects, availability is based on the needs of the Zoo. There will no contact with any animals; we cannot create labels or signs advertising the work of the Eagle Scout.
This form must be submitted at least two months prior to the proposed start of the project.
Call the Education Department at (601) 352-2580 ext 240.